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Religion and Mental Health

by John F. Schumaker

  • ISBN: 9780195069853
  • ISBN10: 0195069854

Religion and Mental Health

by John F. Schumaker

  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: Oxford Univ Pr on Demand
  • Publish date: 09/01/1992
  • ISBN: 9780195069853
  • ISBN10: 0195069854
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Description: Some argue that religious beliefs foster security of mind and mental stability, maintaining that they offer a sense of hope, meaning, and purpose; provide a reassuring fatalism that enables the believer to better withstand suffering and pain; and give people a sense of power and control through association with an omnipotent force. Others assert, however, that religious beliefs can undermine mental health in ways that include generating excessive levels of guilt, encouraging the unhealthy repression of anger, and creating anxiety and fear with threats of punishment for sinful behavior. This interdisciplinary collection presents previously unpublished papers on the controversial relationship between religious behavior and mental health. Schumaker has assembled a distinguished international roster of contributors - sociologists and anthropologists as well as psychiatrists and psychologists of religion representing a wide range of opinions concerning the mental health implications of religious belief and practice. Taken together, the papers provide a comprehensive overview of theory and research in the field. Included are papers on the interaction of religion and self-esteem, life meaning and well-being, sexual and marital adjustment, anxiety, depression, suicide, psychoticism, rationality, self-actualization, and various patterns of anti-social behavior. Religion is also considered in relation to the mental health of women, the elderly, and children. Contributions addressing mental health in non-Western religious groups add an important cross-cultural dimension to the volume.
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